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Adjudicating Revolution

Hardback

Adjudicating Revolution

Courts and Constitutional Change

9781788971324 Edward Elgar Publishing
Richard S. Kay, Wallace Stevens Professor of Law Emeritus and Oliver Ellsworth Research Professor, University of Connecticut School of Law, US and Joel I. Colón-Ríos, Professor of Law, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Publication Date: May 2022 ISBN: 978 1 78897 132 4 Extent: c 240 pp
Lawyers usually describe a revolution as a change in a constitutional order not authorized by law. From this perspective, to speak of a ‘lawful’ or an ‘unlawful’ revolution would seem to involve a category mistake. However, since at least the 19th century, courts in many jurisdictions have had to adjudicate claims involving questions about the extent to which what is in fact a revolutionary change can result in the creation of a legally valid regime. In this book, the authors examine some of these judgments.

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Lawyers usually describe a revolution as a change in a constitutional order not authorized by law. From this perspective, to speak of a ‘lawful’ or an ‘unlawful’ revolution would seem to involve a category mistake. However, since at least the 19th century, courts in many jurisdictions have had to adjudicate claims involving questions about the extent to which what is in fact a revolutionary change can result in the creation of a legally valid regime. In this book, the authors examine some of these judgments.

Adjudicating Revolution includes, first, cases in which courts decide to recognize the actions of a de facto regime under a doctrine of necessity, with the objective of maintaining public order. Second, cases where courts directly confront the question of whether a revolution has resulted in the creation of a genuinely new constitutional order. Finally, cases in which courts are asked by state officials to recognize, in advance, the validity of otherwise revolutionary changes (i.e. the irregular creation of a new constitution) proposed by state officials. The book examines, from a theoretical and comparative perspective, judgments from North and Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Placing the cases in their historical and political context, the authors provide an understanding of key moments in the constitutional history of the relevant jurisdictions.

The resulting analysis will be of interest to academics and graduate students of comparative constitutional law and constitutional theory, political science, and related disciplines.
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